HOW TO: Determine The Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business

As shared by Hub Spot, 63.7% of Internet users regularly use a social network per an EMarketer February 2011 survey, and 63% of companies surveyed in a December 2010 McKinsey Global Institute study say social media has increased marketing effectiveness among other benefits for their business, including customer satisfaction, reducing marketing and support costs, and increasing revenue.

Social Media Platform

Beyond common knowledge, with stats like this, it’s hard to argue that social media hasn’t grown and expanded to the point that it’s imperative for a business to incorporate it in some way if they want to swim with the competition vs. sink with those who don’t quite get it. But it often happens that businesses get caught up in the hype of social media—social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter more specifically—that they tend to lose sight of what makes the most sense for their business when considering all social elements available to them as part of their marketing campaign.

Expand your definition of Social

First, social media is more than social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Everything we do to interface on the Internet can be defined as social, from blogs and forums to article directories and email campaigns. What’s important is identifying where a business’ target market hangs out and marketing to them there.

Capitalize on synergy and economic benefits

By capitalizing on all available social media options such as article directories, blogs, social media networks, and forums, you’re creating content throughout the Internet that creates recent and current content and inbound links to your website, blog, social media networks, and so on. There’s a lot of synergy to be had if you choose to take advantage of it, in addition to the fact that a small business now has the opportunity to create a massive social media internet campaign at a relatively low cost. This means they can now do what only the major players had the capital to do when off-line advertising and marketing was the only option.

Get clear on B2B vs. B2C for your business

Recent studies show some social media platforms are much better for B2B vs. B2C leads and conversions and vice versa, so you want to take this into consideration based on the emphasis for your business. For example, per a Leadforce1 June 2010 study LinkedIn drove the most referrals to B2B sites with a total of 17,618 leads vs. Facebook and Twitter that only drove 4465 and 6170 leads respectively. Also, in the Hub Spot State of Inbound Marketing 2011 Report, LinkedIn generated the most B2B conversions at 61%, with the company blog coming in at 55%, Facebook at 41%, and Twitter at 39%. On the flipside, Facebook was shown to generate the most B2C conversions at 67% with the company blog coming in at 63%, Twitter at 53% and LinkedIn at 39%.

Social media is critical for a business’ marketing success and survival in today’s world, but there are a variety of elements to consider. It’s also important to realize social media is more than social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to ensure capitalizing on all aspects of ‘social’ available for maximum results.

This article is written by Chris Marentis. He writes from experience about lead generation, closing the sale and leveraging social media. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

Social Media And Its Impact On Branding

In this ever-growing virtual world, it’s no wonder more people are turning to social media to promote their company’s brand. Social media websites have redefined the ways of branding by offering services to promote a company brand.

What is Branding and Why is it so Important?

Logos, symbols and taglines are just some aspects of a brand. Overall, a brand is your company’s vision. This helps potential clients see what you have to offer and why you stand out from the rest of the businesses similar to yours.

Branding is important because it allows companies to stand out from the rest of their competition. Branding develops an identity for you and your company that eventually will become quickly recognizable by your clients. The stronger the brand your company has, the more trust your clients will have.

If you are able to establish a strong brand it means you will spend little to no time explaining to clients what you offer. Your brand will say it all!

Social Media and Branding

Branding Types: Professional vs. Personal

There are two types of branding: professional and personal. The branding you choose depends on the type of business you have. A personal brand is suitable if the individual name is most recognizable. A professional brand is most suited for a company that can be represented by more than one person.

People often have difficulties choosing the right brand to use. Both types of brands have their pros and cons. Choosing a personal brand means that your name represents your business. Any tarnish on your name may harm your company.

A professional brand means more than one person is the face of your brand. This also has its downfall since that means there is no direct point of contact. If it is a large business, that means each individual reflects the business.

How to use Social Media to Launch Your Brand

Social media is becoming a popular way for budding companies to create and establish a brand. The leaders of the social media world: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a number of services for companies to use for free.

Facebook allows you to create groups, pages and edit your own profile that you can use to connect to clients everywhere around the world. Twitter time reaction mimics real-time talk. Create a Twitter profile and start tweeting. If you want a more professional image, LinkedIn may be what you are looking for. The website allows companies to make profiles and connect with clients. Take advantages of these websites to gain more exposure.

I Have an Online Profile, What’s Next?

Once you have created a profile, it is important that you quickly update it with the proper information and images that are vital to your company. A key reminder; if you have more than one profile, make sure that the information on each profile is consistent with each other.

First, update your profile picture. The best option for a personal brand is a picture of you. If you have a professional brand then you may want to choose the company logo. Once again, if you have multiple profiles, you want to make sure that you have the same profile picture for your name. This will avoid the possibility of your company looking inconsistent.

When creating your profile page, update all the necessary information, and links to your company’s website.
Lastly, you should also provide your company’s tagline. In one to two sentences, your tagline should be able to tell clients what your business is and how it relates to them.

Make sure that the contact information is also consistent on each profile. You also want to make sure that your customers can contact you easily to get the answer of their questions, so also include Skype and other Instant Messaging (IM) accounts details for maximum communication.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the benefits of using social media to promote your brand is most rewarding.